A student of mine recently produced the following sentence:

"Regarding the average citizen, if the television, the radio or newspapers do not forge his concept of world , what will do that?"

Is the phrase "concept of world" appropriate, or would it be better to include the definite article before the noun "world" - "concept of the world"? If both are correct, which one sounds better?


São Paulo, Brazil

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Original Post
The passage implies that the knowledge gained from TV, the radio, or newspapers is influential in forming a person's concept of the world we inhabit. From its reference to the various media, the passage makes it clear that the concept here is of "the world."

The phrase "the concept of world," without an article, is used in an abstract sense, as in

The concept of "world" in the MWI [Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics] belongs to part (ii) of the theory, i.e., it is not a rigorously defined mathematical entity, but a term defined by us (sentient beings) in describing our experience.

He left Oxford because he wanted to write a D.Phil thesis on the concept of world in Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein...

This use is restricted to scholarly writing.

Marilyn Martin

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